What’s the problem meow, Officer?
“Super Troopers 2”
By Jason Wiese
It may sound sacrilegious in the world of film criticism, but I think that Super Troopers, the 2001 cult classic from comedy troupe Broken Lizard, is a wonderful comedy. At face value, it is a Western male-centric collection of loosely connected, immature gross out gags that makes a mockery out of law enforcement. While I do not have much ammunition to effectively argue against that, I would say that if you can successfully remove the stick from your rear end, and discover that the film is actually a favorite among many cops, you might find that there is a well-constructed story featuring five endearing (okay, one of which is hilariously non-endearing) protagonists holding the infantile, yet effective, humor together. And, by some miracle brought to you by the crowd-funding gods, the gentlemen of Broken Lizard have done it again.
Former Vermont state highway troopers-turned-former police officers Thorny (director Jay Chandrasekhar), Mac (Steve Lemme), Rabbit (Erik Stolhanske), Foster (Paul Soter) and Farva (Kevin Heffernan) and their captain O’Hagan (Brian Cox) are about to reunite for a fishing trip in Canada where they unexpectedly find themselves back on duty. After a border dispute results in Vermont now in control of a site of land formerly part of Canada, the guys are recruited by Governor Jessman (Lynda Carter) to establish a highway patrol unit in the area as a temporary transitional period. A good handful of the thick-accented natives are excited for the transition, including town mayor Guy LeFranc (Rob Lowe) and the female lead (whose occupation I cannot recall, I apologize) Genevieve Aubois (Emanuelle Chriqui). Yet, three disgruntled Mounties (Will Sasso, Hayes MacArthur and Tyler Labine) are not happy to be taking orders from Americans, initiating an opposition between the two groups that is not much of a stretch from the troopers vs. local cops rivalry in the first film. In fact, plot-wise, the whole film is not much of a stretch from the first one.
The Super Troopers are still the same ragtag gang of pranksters prone to many shenanigans, but charmingly so. The members of Broken Lizard, instead of trying to go bigger like many comedy sequels unsuccessfully attempt, structure the film as what would be a natural continuation in the lives of these characters, despite the otherwise ludicrous border dispute plot. The decision to avoid topping themselves is actually one of the most refreshing aspects of the film. Even when they reference the most memorable scenes from the original, it never feels forced. It also helps that the film kept me laughing throughout. Thankfully, that was enough for me to call it good.
Super Troopers 2 is what most lesser comedies made today try to be: funny. How remarkable that a crowd-funded sequel released almost two decades after the original does not land flat? It may not particularly outwit the quality of its predecessor, but it matches it equally enough for Broken Lizard fans to continue watching and enjoying years from meow.